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TOO MANY COMMERCIALS?

QUESTION FOR DAN:
I recently took a job at a medium market station from a small market. I have a minor concern. Sometimes there are too many commercials. From a sales standpoint, this is great. It looks good on the books, but sometimes I feel it stifles creativity and an opportunity to be local and involved with your listener. Sometimes in the drive we have a commercial stopset that will last upwards of 5 minutes! Plus at one point it's about 9 or 10 minutes with a news package, feature and ads before we get back into songs! Is this too much? Any thoughts on what I could do or change?

DAN REPLIES:
This is a battle you probably won't win, so you might consider saving your strength for a more winnable cause.

If it's any consolation, a morning show here in Los Angeles has stopsets that last 10-12 minutes. It's Howard Stern's. He garners very strong ratings, however, by delivering a show that is so consistently entertaining (and unique) that enough listeners are willing to sit through the commercials.

I suggest you work on your ability to tease, to promote, and to extend individual features in order to further time spent listening.

>at one point it's about 9 or 10 minutes with a news package, feature and ads before we get back into songs! Is this too much?<

That really depends upon your format and target audience. If you're supposed to be doing a music-intensive contemporary morning show, that does sound like a long time to go without a music element.

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